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CIRES/NSIDC Technical Writer

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Job Summary

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, serves as a national information and referral center in support of snow and ice research. Our mission is to make fundamental contributions to cryospheric science and excel in managing data and disseminating information in order to advance understanding of the Earth system.


The Technical Writer, part of the Science and Communications Group, interacts with several teams at NSIDC to publish and upkeep cryospheric data sets for use by the scientific communities served by NSIDC. The Technical Writer creates and maintains documentation for a broad array of scientific data sets describing remote sensing, airborne, or in situ data. This includes researching and writing about the methods, instrumentation, algorithms, and  processing steps used to collect the data. In addition to  data set user guides, the TechnicaI Writer manages metadata information and maintains associated web content.

Who We Are

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

National Snow and Ice Data Center:

NSIDC manages and distributes scientific data, creates tools for data access, supports data users, performs scientific research, and educates the public about the cryosphere.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Research and gather scientific and technical information for the development of data set documentation, web content, other technical documents, and graphics.
  • Create, manage, and update metadata records pertaining to NSIDC data sets.
  • Coordinate interactions with product team members to ensure timely and efficient publication of data sets.
  • Create written tutorials on how to use data-specific  tools.
  • Create and update the written webpage content related to a data product.
  • Participate in NSIDC Product Teams to communicate user community requirements and provide documentation and metadata best practices.
  • Contribute to the development, maintenance, and application of NSIDC technical writing standards and guidelines for style, grammar, and format.

What You Should Know

CIRES commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

What We Can Offer

CIRES can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Effective. Be Informed. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor's Degree in a science related field.
  • Two years professional writing experience.

What You Will Need

  • Ability to clearly communicate scientific and technical information.
  • Experience following organizational or publication style guidelines.
  • Ability to absorb and work with scientific and quantitative information.
  • Ability to work on multiple teams that have diverse missions and operating styles.
  • Ability to work independently in an unstructured, collaborative environment.
  • Ability to organize, manage, and track simultaneous and continuing unresolved tasks.
  • Deadline and results oriented.
  • Aptitude for problem solving and attention to detail.
  • Ability to adapt and contribute to procedural and technical change and improvement.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Knowledge and experience in Earth science, polar regions, remote sensing, or related fields.
  • Experience working with scientific data.
  • Basic familiarity with UNIX operating system.
  • Basic familiarity with Drupal or other content management systems.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume or CV.
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. List of references: the names, professional titles, and contact information of those who are familiar with your qualifications and work history.
  4.  A portfolio of work demonstrating advanced scientific and technical writing skills, including the ability to write for specialized and expert audiences, as well as the ability to write clear, jargon-free text for broader audiences.
  5. One (1) confidential Letter of Recommendation (LOR) will be required at a later time if you are a short-listed candidate or the finalist, depending on the selection process. Please contact your LOR writer in advance, that they should expect to receive an email about submitting the letter. It may be someone who you have already named on your “List of References”.
Full consideration will be given to applications received by 6/17/2019, or until the job is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Name: Nancy Lathrop

Posting Contact Email:

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.